St. Theodore the General,
Sixth Day of Great Lent
 As a child I was by nature well endowed,
and a good soul fell to my lot;
 or rather, being good, I entered an undefiled body.
 But I perceived that I would not possess wisdom
unless God gave her to me —
and it was a mark of insight to know whose gift she was —
so I appealed to the Lord and besought him,
and with my whole heart I said:
 “O God of my fathers and Lord of mercy,
who hast made all things by thy word,
 and by thy wisdom hast formed man,
to have dominion over the creatures thou hast made,
 and rule the world in holiness and righteousness,
and pronounce judgment in uprightness of soul,
 give me the wisdom that sits by thy throne,
and do not reject me from among thy servants.
 For I am thy slave and the son of thy maidservant,
a man who is weak and short-lived,
with little understanding of judgment and laws;
 Upon your walls, O Jerusalem,
I have set watchmen;
all the day and all the night
they shall never be silent.
You who put the LORD in remembrance,
take no rest,
 and give him no rest
until he establishes Jerusalem
and makes it a praise in the earth.
 The LORD has sworn by his right hand
and by his mighty arm:
“I will not again give your grain
to be food for your enemies,
and foreigners shall not drink your wine
for which you have labored;
 but those who garner it shall eat it
and praise the LORD,
and those who gather it shall drink it
in the courts of my sanctuary.”
 We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.
 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren.
 And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.
 What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who is against us?
 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him?
 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies;
 who is to condemn? Is it Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us?
 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
 As it is written, “For thy sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
 For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
 Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in their synagogues,
 and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles.
 When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour;
 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
 Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death;
 and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America